Samasta Lokaah Sukhino Bhavantu
Think good. See good. Do good.
[Kanchi Maha Periva. https://mahaperiyavaa.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/shiva_dhyanam.jpg?w=700%5D
Samasta Lokaah Sukhino Bhavantu. This is the prayer call of the Vedas.
A call born not out of an intellectual desire or a deliberate attempt to correct and make the world “alright”. A call born not out of a wish that all things in all places be made alright. But a beautiful and sublime call to embrace the love of selflessness and sacrifice that is beckoning one from within and without. It is a powerful practice for one’s mind immersed in and suffering from narrow selfishness, to turn towards one’s own Seat of Love. It is a practical exercise to expand oneself beyond oneself.
Samasta Lokaah Sukhino Bhavantu
One meaning of this prayer is
Samasta – all
Lokaah – worlds
Sukhinah – happy
Bhavantu – be
Another meaning is as follows:
Samasta also means united, whole, oneness.
Lokaah also means people, beings, space, things cognized,lives etc
Sukhinah is not the happiness born from pleasure and the pleasant. This happiness, as natural as the incoming breath is part of the outgoing breath, is part of sadness and misery that invariably follows it. Sukham denotes the proximity and experience of divinity where sadness, misery and difficulties are absent. Sukham is not just happiness but Bliss Itself.
Bhavantu also means an awareness of something that is already present.
So the prayer is “Let me become one with the Bliss that is present in all things I cognize”
How is it possible to even confidently seek the outcome of this prayer when I see misery, and not Bliss, all around me in the world?
The world, in truth, is nothing but a mirror of sorts. I see only myself in it. My world is different from yours even though we may be in the same room, may be the closest of friends etc. My world is my reaction, my reflection and my resound. If I think anger, I see anger; if I think deceit, I see deceit; if I think beauty, I see beauty; if I think love, I see love. I am what I experience. I am what I taste. There is no exception to this happening. Taitreeya Upanishad says yah cha ayam purushah sah ekah – The One is present thus in man.
Scriptures mention fourteen worlds – seven higher ones and seven lower ones. Scriptures also compress these and present three worlds – Bhuh (physical appearances and disappearances), Bhuvah (mental appearances and disappearances) and Suvah (Beneficial appearances and disappearances). We know the three worlds we live in on a daily basis – waking, dreaming and deep-sleep worlds. We also live in the three worlds of demonic tendencies, human tendencies and divine tendencies. We also experience the worlds of balancing impulses, aggressive impulses and lethargic impulses. And so on. In reality, all these worlds are nothing but one’s awareness levels.
So, how can all the worlds that are nothing but my own reflection, reaction and resound – be they the thoughts in the recesses of my mind, actions that I do, words I speak or the love and kindness that I manifest – be sukham? How can they be an experience of Bliss devoid of misery and sadness? How can they be divinity itself as this prayer calls for?
Since everything is my own reaction, reflection and resound, this is possible only when I become sukham itself. Then everything reflects the sukham I am. Just like I do not feel well when my toe gets hurt or a cell in some part of my body malfunctions or a thought that agitates a corner of my mind, all the worlds that are part of me cannot be peaceful when I am not peaceful. “The world is perfect as it is. Correct your vision accordingly” is the teaching.
What is the correct vision?
“Seen through the eyes of Love, all beings are beautiful, all thoughts are innocent and all actions are sacred”
Sri Sathya Sai Baba points to this Vision of Love.
He also taught me the importance and essentiality of reciting this prayer “Samasta Lokaah Sukhino Bhavantu” – Let me be peaceful and loving to know how all the worlds are indeed peaceful and loving! Let me experience sukham to see how all the worlds are nothing but sukham itself. Let me experience the oneness present in all the worlds to experience Bliss.
This is the prayer call of the Vedas. As a first step, a mere recitation of it with earnestness and faith is enough to decrease one’s selfishness and expand one’s heart, bringing a certain amount of well-being with it.
Want to change the world? The Vedas point the way – Change yourself and the world changes accordingly!